It’s a competitive world out there. Whether you are an entrepreneur with a brick and mortar facility, an Internet-based company, or a combination of both; or if you offer products or services; whether you have something brand new and unique or an improvement on something already being sold, you will always be in competition with other businesses.
Part of meeting or beating your competition, even survival, is a result of how you face challenges and problems and solve them successfully.
Here are five of the most common problems entrepreneurs face and some solid strategies for solving them.
You can’t start a business, much less sustain and grow it, if you don’t have enough capital.
There are multiple options here. Obviously, the best is funding it yourself, if possible. If not, here are your options:
- Friends and Family – If you can find loans among these groups, you will certainly have to pay them back as you grow; however, you will not be giving away a piece of your company.
- Traditional Bank Loans – This avenue was once the primary source for capital. You will have to develop a detailed business plan and demonstrate that you are a good risk. The plus, again, is that you don’t have to give away a part of your business
- Take on a partner – This will involve lots of thought, discussion, ensuring that you two are compatible and that you balance one another’s strengths and weaknesses. You now only own half a business, however.
- Kickstarter campaigns – to get enough funding through this type of campaign, you must have a hugely compelling message – one that brings great value to current and potential customers/clients.
- Angel Investors/Capital Investors – Again, this is a tough road. Your message must convince an investor that you have a “winner.”
Whichever option(s) you choose, make sure that you do the research and ensure that you are not digging a deep hole of debt or giving away pieces of your business. There are often strings attached, and some investors have a tendency to micro-manage. You do not want to give up control. Sometimes it is better to settle for a slower growth rate, managing on your own capital and regular growth of a customer base.
Hiring the Right People
This can eat up lots of time, sifting through resumes, conducting phone or video interviews, and narrowing down a large pool to a few for serious interviews and consideration.
Then, there is the problem of offering a salary package that will be competitive enough to attract the best talent you can find.
Narrow the field of candidates upfront but being very detailed and exclusive with your posting, specifically what the position entails, what the non-negotiable requirements are, what the salary range is, and required hours and days. The more specific you can be, the more you will reduce the number of candidates you will be looking at.
Bill Harrison, a co-founder of Best Essay Education writing service, speaks from personal experience. “I discovered early on that being too general with job postings for writers was a huge mistake. We got everything from high school graduates to foreign-speaking natives who did not have the superior English writing skills we needed. When we got specific about required degrees, writing backgrounds, and experience, we saw a big drop in applicants.”
When your budget is still tight, consider contracting out tasks to freelancers rather than employing someone full-time. Further, if you make a mistake with a full-time employee, there is the painful process of terminating them. Not so with a contracted outsider.
This is perhaps the most challenging of all activities for entrepreneurs. Without a successful marketing plan and budget, customers will not come. It will be important to develop a brand image and a “voice” for the business marketing content.
Marketing also involves lots of research. You have to identify your target audience, and then find out where they hang out online, even times of day and days of week. You have to meet them on their terms, develop meaningful relationships and show the value of your product or service, meeting their needs and solving their problems.
Marketing activities/content involve lots of initiatives. Here are several of them:
- Website and blog content
- Social media platforms
- Paid/PPC advertising
- Press releases
- Getting influencers and brand ambassadors to recommend your product/service.
- SEO strategies so that your business is indexed well by search engines.
Most entrepreneurs have too much else on their plates to spend the right amount of time on marketing. Further, they are not marketers by profession.
You can hire a full-time marketer if your budget will allow. Finding and hiring the right one can be costly.
You can contract out content marketing to individuals through freelance sites like Upwork, or agency pros, like those in the copywriting department of TopWritersReview. This is often a better solution because there are no additional expenses that a full-time employee entails.
Entrepreneurs, especially solopreneurs, have to wear many “hats.” It’s tough to run a business by yourself, and you can find yourself jumping from one task to another, putting out fires, and trying to figure out what is the best use of your time at any given moment. The result is that many important tasks/projects do not get fully completed, as well as the creation of a lot of stress and anxiety.
There are several things you must do here:
- Automate as much as you can. There are amazing tools now to segment your audiences and personalize such things as email campaigns, to complete all bookkeeping tasks and track invoicing and payments, to manage projects, and more.
- Delegate what you can. Many entrepreneurs see their businesses as their “babies,” and they resist letting go of any facets of business operations to others. Make a list of the more mundane tasks that can be delegated, and just do it. Your team will thank you for the trust you are putting in them and will step up.
- Make a daily/weekly list of projects and activities to be accomplished. Prioritize that list. Focus on one and complete it before you move on to another. In the end, your productivity will improve.
You can spend every waking moment on your business – days, well into the night, weekends, etc. The end result will be burnout. And with burnout comes a lack of productivity, focus, and self-doubt.
You must make time for personal needs. This may include going to the gym, social activities with friends, if only for a short happy hour, walks, a hobby, etc. Schedule time for personal needs into your weekly calendar, and do not forego them. You will find that these short respites will give you greater work focus when you return.
Entrepreneurs have a stressful life, at least during the startup and initial growth phases. But starting a business is also exciting. These solutions to the most common challenges should help you relieve some of the stressors, allow you to focus on the critical challenges, and improve your chances for success.
Author: Nicole D. Garrison
Nicole D. Garrison is a content strategist, writer, and contributor at a number of platforms for marketing specialists such as Trust My Paper. She is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research. In her free time, Nicole is a passionate runner and a curious beekeeper. Moreover, she runs her own blog LiveInspiredMagazine.
Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.